How many short stretchers?

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Forum topic by mak posted 05-19-2013 09:43 PM 809 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 2254 days

05-19-2013 09:43 PM

I am currently building my workbench base out of Douglas Fir. I made it easy on myself for the long stretchers by laminating 2×6’s and leaving the middle board longer to form the tenons and left a gap in the lamination of the legs for mortises. Now I am working on the short stretchers. Originally I had planned on two short stretchers on each side. The only problem is that I am really SLOW at cutting the tenons and creating the mortises. Do you think it would be adequate to just use one short stretcher on the bottom of each side? The top will be two 1 3/8 oak prefabricated slaps glued together to double the thickness. If I go with a single short stretcher on the bottom, I would drill holes through the top and into the legs and use a dowel to attach the top to the base.

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View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 05-20-2013 01:18 AM

One short stretcher is fine when it is tennoned into the legs and when the legs are tennoned into the top.
Thats the arrangement I have and it has worked perfectly for three years now. Not a hint of anything loosening.

The dowel idea would depend on the size of the dowel. A big dowel, or loose tennon could work ok if it is big enough. I would recommend, based on my own experience, at least 4 sq.inches cross sectional area, whether it’s round or square or rectangular.

Use a good wood glue, or epoxy, or even hide glue, or resin glue. I have had very poor results with urethane glue in shear, which is what a tennon or dowel attachment is.

View mak's profile


29 posts in 2254 days

#2 posted 05-20-2013 04:52 AM

How many and what size of dowels would you recommend? The legs are 3 2×6’s laminated together so there is a lot of area there if I needed to do several dowels into each leg. I was planning on drilling down all the way through the benchtop and into the legs and then using a flush cut saw and block plane to trim the dowels flush with the benchtop.

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